Nerditya by Aditya

Book Review: Anansi Boys

I recently finished reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Ever since reading Neverwehere, he has been one of my favorite authors. His books can be classified into a rather strange category - fairy tales for adults. It is something different from the run of the mill fantasy stories which seem to copy the general theme from the Lord of the Rings. This makes his stories seem interesting to me.

  • Author: Neil Gaiman
  • Published: 2005
  • Age Group: Adults

Anansi Boys is a story of Charlie "fat Charlie" Nancy. The story begins as Charlie's father passes away. Charlie's father is an interesting personality. Good with the ladies, good dancer, an exceptional singer and a through entertainer. There's more - his father is Anansi, the Spider god. The god gifted in telling stories and naming things. One of his many gifts to fat Charlie is his name, which, even after losing weight has stuck with Charles.

We soon learn more about Anansi the trickster, who pissed off pretty much every single god back in the day. The god who is angrier than the rest is Tiger fo it was Tiger's ability to name things. Something Anansi stole from him. Charles is unaware of his godly descend. This is where the story begins to shine. Charlie met by a series of strange events as he learns more about his father, about him being a god and also being an ass.

Soon after this, a stranger appears on his doorstep, who seems to be a brother Charles never knew existed. Spider, for this is what he calls himself, has Anansi's abilities. He's handsome, slender and tall. With the stark contrast in the two brothers, the story takes a comical turn for some time, until Spider starts to replace Charles.

The story simultaneously covers Charlie's finance Rosie and her mother. His boss Grahame Coats, their clients and his job. This is one of Gaiman's biggest assets, weaving seemingly unconnected plots in the story and making sense out of it. Another strong point with Gaiman is a simple narrative combined with few of the greatest quotes on life I have ever read.

Anansi Boys, along with American Gods is often touted as one of Neil's best. If you haven't figured out already, Anansi is Mr. Nancy from the American Gods. I didn't like Anansi Boys as much as American Gods. It felt like a big disappointment at the end to me but I cannot answer what else I expected from the book. It's one of those times where the book feels inadequate yet you don't know how to make it better. This still stands one of the better books I have read in recent past.

Rating: 3.5/5